Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Our dog Astro, a lab mix, came to live with us over twelve years ago. He was abused before we got him, and he's always acted grateful that we welcomed him into our home. He was polite, and minded better than a lot of children I see these days.
Normally when he moved about the house, he was in stealth mode. Even though he weighed well over 80 pounds, the only sound he made walking through the house was a gentle clicking of his claws on the wooden floor.
I'm not sure how he did it, but when he came in or went out the doggie door, the only sound it made was a slight whisking of plastic against his muscles as he slowly passed through the door.
Each day on our morning walks, he ran like the wind and looked more like a thorough bred racing horse, than a mix-breed dog.
This morning around 3 a.m. I was sound asleep when I heard a loud noise in the bedroom. I jumped up in my ninja crouch only to discover it was Astro. He was in some kind of distress.
I guided him into our laundry room and onto a thick rug where he normally sleeps. I wasn't sure if he'd had some kind of seizure, or something worse.
My niece Samantha and Astro
Both Jilda and I laid down on the floor, with him in between us. Eventually he went to sleep so Jilda and I went back to bed.
When the vet office opened this morning I took him down. I kept hoping it was some type of infection or other malady for which the vet could treat with medicine. But I knew deep down inside, it was something worse.
After a few moments with him, she delivered the bad news. He'd had a stroke. Yes, in some cases, animals respond after massive doses of steroids, but with dogs his age, and with the condition he was in, she didn't give much hope.
I called Jilda and we both cried as if we'd lost a child. I went back inside and told the doc to put him down.
So today has been a sad day for us here in the Watson household.

The photo to the right was taken about 12 years ago. It's of our niece Samantha and Astro. She was in elementary school then. She has since graduated from college, and is working as a physical therapist assistant.


  1. Oh poor guy.
    12 years old.
    My golden died when he was 16 and now we have Beau who is 11 So he's getting up there too. It's hard to say good bye.
    Our condolences to you and Jilda

  2. I'm sorry for your loss, Rick. It is difficult indeed to lose our loyal creature companions. I think we learn something very important from our dogs, and there is such an empty space when they leave us.

  3. Oh Rick, i'm so sorry. just a few days ago he was charming the bank teller. i'm in tears as my own pup is asleep at my feet waiting for me to finish typing slowly on my droid (since my comp is being repaired, hopefully), being grateful for her good behavior as a 18 month old. oh so sorry for the sudden loss. i'm so grateful that you provided a loving home for him. (hug)

  4. Gosh, im sorry for being a dork. Buddy was charming the teller. :√

  5. I'm so sorry to hear of y'all's loss. Twelve years is a good bit of time. But it's never enough, when we have to face its ending. I hope y'all have loads of wonderful memories that you can breathe plenty of life into, for keeping him in your hearts, forever!

  6. Rick, my deepest sympathy to you and Jilda at the loss of Astro. I know all too well the heartbreak of loosing a beloved family pet. They are like a family members and we feel their presence long after they are gone. We expect them at the door wagging their tails when we come in or at the bowl when we get up.

    Sending you both hugs,

  7. I vowed never to have another dog when our wonderful beagle died. I cried for months and said never again. We now have two doxies. And I know my heart will break like yours some day. But the love they give us makes our lives so much richer and complete. I am so sorry for your loss and send hugs from Scooter and Skittlez.

  8. My heart aches for the two of you. It's so hard to lose one of your furry kids. I know you have lots of wonderful memories to carry in your heart.

  9. I'm so very sorry. But he is in Heaven.


  10. Rick, I'm so sorry that you had to put your dog down. What a sad day. I remember the day we put our first dog down and all of us cried like babies too. It's hard not to love them when they love us so much in return. I'll be thinking about you and Jilda and I'll say a little prayer for comfort tonight. So sorry.

  11. From one animal lover to another,my heart is with you and Jilda.


Please consider sharing

Email Signup Form

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required